Women Leaving the Workforce Is a Big Problem. Creative Space Use Is a Partial Solution.

Companies can turn unused or short-term office space into online learning hubs, allowing parents to bring older kids to work while staying productive.

Women have been leaving the workforce at alarming levels during the Coronavirus pandemic. The reasons have long been in place but heightened by Covid-19: basically women are finding it harder and harder to juggle the dueling responsibilities of work and child care, now that many schools have switched to remote learning.

The numbers are grim: Four times more women than men dropped out of the labor force in September, according to the National Women’s Law Center.  Another study published in September by McKinsey, found that
It likely doesn’t help that many corporations do not have policies and principles in place regarding alternative work arrangements. In a survey by Willis Towers Watson, which was cited in
New Space Configurations Could Help

The good news is that there are signs that companies are starting to move to adopting more flexible policies for working at home. In truth, though, this issue requires a multi-pronged approach that also includes new expectations of workloads, reexamined performance metrics and better employee communication, according to McKinsey. <

There is one other component that should be considered, says JLL: space that has been carved out specifically to address women’s needs. <

“You'd think that working from home would be better for caretakers, but many also need the physical space to separate and concentrate,” says
Some companies provide
Additionally, corporations can turn unused or short-term office space into online learning hubs, allowing parents to bring older kids to work while staying productive. <

“The actual
A New Generation of Flex Space  <

Just about any solution likely will involve flex workspace. Luckily, a new generation of offerings is poised to come to the market, according to a report by Colliers International. <

Flex space currently accounts for 25% of total office inventory worldwide, but the report predicts that the supply of flex space will grow by two to three times in the next five years.<

This space will accelerate new work models for companies and their employees, observers say. <

“If Flex 1.0 was about <where <people work; Flex 2.0 will be increasingly centered around <how <people work,” Knotel CEO Amol Sarvar said in the report.  <

Source: Globe St.